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  1. #1
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    Inverted sentences beginning with an adverb

    In a blog about inversion, there is an example: on the shelf lies my brand new watch.
    The blog says that such an inverted sentence should begin with an adverb.
    Does "on" in the above sentence function as a preposition or an adverb?

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    Re: Inverted sentences beginning with an adverb

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    In a blog about inversion, there is an example: on the shelf lies my brand new watch.
    The blog says that such an inverted sentence should begin with an adverb.
    Does "on" in the above sentence function as a preposition or an adverb?
    "On the shelf" is a prepositional phrase acting as an adverb of place. When a sentence starts with an adverb of place, we invert the subject and verb.
    We also do that when a sentence starts with a negative adverbial.

    In Times Square (adverbial of place) stands a statue of George M. Cohan.
    Rarely (negative adverbial) have we seen an actor more talented.

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    Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    Re: Inverted sentences beginning with an adverb

    "Under the table is a book."
    Is "under the table" also a prepositional phrase acting as an adverb of place?

    "Under no circumstances should you tell lies."
    What does "under no circumstances" act as? An adverbial phrase?

  4. #4
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    Re: Inverted sentences beginning with an adverb

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    "Under the table is a book."
    Is "under the table" also a prepositional phrase acting as an adverb of place?

    "Under no circumstances should you tell lies."
    What does "under no circumstances" act as? An adverbial phrase?
    Yes. "Under the table" is an adverbial prepositional phrase of place.

    "Under no circumstances" is a negative adverbial phrase.

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    Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    Re: Inverted sentences beginning with an adverb

    "Towards the river headed the troop."
    "At the station pointed the telescope."

    Are "towards the river" and "at the station" adverbial prepositional phrases of direction?
    The blog says (in Chinese) that directions (in addition to places) also apply to inverted sentences.

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    Re: Inverted sentences beginning with an adverb

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    "Towards the river headed the troop."
    "At the station pointed the telescope."

    Are "towards the river" and "at the station" adverbial prepositional phrases of direction?
    The blog says (in Chinese) that directions (in addition to places) also apply to inverted sentences.
    Your first is possible, but not natural. Your second is not correct.

  7. #7
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    Re: Inverted sentences beginning with an adverb

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    "Towards the river headed the troop."
    "At the station pointed the telescope."
    Neither of these is natural English.

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